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CRIMEAN MEMORIAL CHURCH

The Crimean Memorial Church also known as Christ Church, was built on land donated by Sultan Abdulmejit (1839-1861) and was constructed between 1858-68 in memory of British soldiers who had participated in the Crimean War. As soon as the surviving British soldiers were back at home, an appeal was launched in London to build a memorial church in Istanbul to British soldiers and their sacrifices during the Crimean War.

A competion was held to choose the architect and the winner was William Burgess (the famous man for the restoration of the Waltham Abbey and for the construction of the Cathedral of Saint-Fin-Barre in Cork). But the selection committee canceled his choice and chose George Edmund Street (1824-1881) who was also, a few years later, the architect of the royal court of justice in London. Probably, the committee wanted a neo-Gothic Victorian church and saw that Burgess did not like the Gothic revival and that G.E. Street did.

Lord Stratford de Redcliffe (1786-1880), long-serving British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, laid the foundation-stone on 19 October 1858. Construction started in 1864 and finished on 22nd October 1868. The church was rectangular, made of stone and has two small steeples above the door. All stones used in construction were brought from Malta.

The narrow, tall interior of the nave features a brown and black patterned floor, simple wooden chairs and there is a side chamber with a baptismal fountain. The altar, separated from the rest of the nave by a decorated choir screen, is dimly lit by a rose window on the front wall. A beautiful pulpit, featuring white, red, and blue-green shades of marble, stands in front of the altar. The baptismal font inside the church is made of one piece of marble. The church's organ, made in England in 1911, is on the wooden mezzanine level and reached via a cast iron staircase also brought from England.

After closing in 1978 due to a lack of congregation, the Anglican church reopened in 1991 and continues to hold services for a group of Sri Lankan refugees who fled to Istanbul at the time of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
Address: Şahkulu Mahallesi, Serdar-ı Ekrem Cd. No:83, 34425 Pera/İstanbul, Turkey
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